Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have been ordered to pay Marvin Gaye's heirs nearly $5 million for plagiarizing elements of the late singer's song "Got to Give It Up" in their 2013 hit "Blurred Lines."
As Blavity previously reported, three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Thicke and Williams earlier this year. The musicians had hoped to have that decision reviewed by a higher court.
The Gaye family was awarded around $7 million in 2015, as the New York Times reports. At that time, a federal judge ruled two of Marvin Gaye’s children, Nona and Frankie, were to recieve “$4 million in damages plus about $3.3 million of the profits earned by Mr. Thicke and Mr. Williams.” This week's newest, final ruling amends that award.
Now, Judge John A. Kronstadt has said “Thicke, Williams and Williams' More Water from Nazareth Publishing Inc. are jointly required to pay Gaye's family,” according to Billboard.com. T.I., who was featured on the song, was found not liable at all; Interscope, the record label behind the hit, was also found innocent of any wrongdoing.
Thicke and Williams, however, will have to pay the Gaye Family $4,983,766.85. This total includes $2,848,846.50 for damages as well as $1,768,191.88 and $357,630.96 from Thicke and Williams, respectively, as restitution for profits they made.
In addition, the Gaye heirs will make money from any future profits the song generates; from now on, they are entitled to half of any revenue made from the hit's songwriting credits and publishing royalties. Also, the Gaye family will receive interest of almost $10,000 on their award as neither Williams nor Thicke paid them after the original ruling. The artists will also be required to pay interest on the $4.9 million should they not hand it over to the Gaye heirs all at once.
“Blurred Lines,” Thicke's first No. 1 hit, topped the charts in 25 countries. Vulture reports the song has made Thicke and Williams $16 million.
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